Our History: Claretians Arrive in the U.S.
Today the Claretians are improving the lives of their neighbors through impactful programs in communities throughout the United States, but that’s nothing new. The Claretians first arrived in the United States in the early 20th century and have been serving here for more than a hundred years.
The first Claretians in the U.S. (pictured above) came from Mexico, invited by a local bishop to serve Spanish-speaking communities in Texas. In 1902 they found a home in San Antonio, which became the seat of the first Claretian community in the United States.
In those early years, Claretians in the U.S. provided spiritual enrichment along with genuine hospitality and support to many Mexican Catholic exiles who were forced either to flee their country during the Mexican Revolution or face persecution.
A Texas mission church. Local Mexicans flocked to these mission churches, where the Claretians served the needs of the people.
Claretians today are working all over the country, continuing their tradition of service to those in need. Claretians live as neighbors in the communities they serve and are in a unique position to be agile and responsive to the needs of the people. In one tCI community—Stone Mountain, Georgia—the Claretians serve refugees who have been forced to flee their home countries due to dangerous conflicts; the Claretians serve through their English as Second Language and Refugee Transportation programs, much as they once reached out to Mexicans fleeing conflict in their home country.